March 25, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy
On March 21, 2013, the California Medical Association’s (CMA) Council on Legislation (COL) met to discuss the association’s legislative priorities for 2013. COL is composed of more than 60 physicians from around the state who are nominated by their delegation, county medical society, or specialty society, and meet annually to discuss and recommend CMA's position on numerous pieces of legislation pertaining to the house of medicine.
In attendance at this year’s COL was Sen. Jerry Hill (San Mateo) who gave a special presentation on his SB 598, which would allow pharmacists to replace a biologic drug with a biosimilar identified as "interchangeable" by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pharmacists would also be required to notify the prescribing physician within five days of the switch.
Members also heard from Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (Walnut Creek) on his SB 809, a bill to finance the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) database. Senate Bill 809 would upgrade and fully modernize the CURES program, update program operations, establish enforcement capability and improve utilization.
All of the recommended positions taken by COL will be presented to the CMA Board of Trustees for finalization at its April 15 meeting. These then become CMA’s official positions throughout the current legislative cycle.